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Overnight freeze means icy roads in Central Virginia

road-work-headerVirginia Department of Transportation crews, assisted by contract equipment and operators, are continuing to plow secondary roads across Central Virginia. Many roads are partially or completely blocked by accumulated snow and drifts and that work is anticipated to continue around the clock for the next several days.

Interstate and primary highways across the region are mostly clear of snow but overnight temperatures well below freezing will result in icing on many roads when melted snow refreezes on the road surface. Any remaining snow is also likely to freeze. VDOT continues to advise against non-essential travel, but if you must travel overnight drive with extreme caution and expect to encounter icy conditions, even on roads that have been cleared of snow today.

Drivers should be alert for pedestrians walking in roads at all hours, especially in more urban areas. Most sidewalks are blocked with deep piles of snow and pedestrians are walking in the roadway. Another hazard is limited sight distance and obstructed views at intersections and entrances due to the high piles of snow on the shoulders and medians.

VDOT’s goal is to make all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after snowfall ends. However, cleanup from this storm is extensive and will require use of specialized equipment to remove up to 30 inches of accumulated snow, plus large snow drifts. The public should expect that plows will not reach all secondary roads until late Monday or even Tuesday in some cases. Even after plowing, snow and ice will linger on the surface of these roads due to refreezing overnight.

 

What residents should know

  • Plows will provide a path through neighborhoods that is drivable with caution for an average passenger vehicle. The path will not be curb-to-curb or bare pavement, and may remain uneven and rutted, especially with refreezing overnight.
  • Chemicals are not typically used in subdivisions, but crews will sand hills, curves and intersections as needed to provide traction.
  • In many neighborhoods, front-end loaders and motor graders will be required to move snow where there is not enough room to push.
  • Crews are asked to be mindful of pushing large piles onto driveways, but in an extreme storm that can be an unintended consequence of making roads passable.
  • To give crews a chance to finish their plow assignments, VDOT asks that residents wait 48 hours after the storm is over before reporting “missed” roads.


Stay abreast of road conditions by calling 511 or visiting 511Virginia.org. Additional information about VDOT’s winter-weather preparations and response can be found at www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.



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